A Fox News host had a controversial outlook on the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that occurred on Sunday.
In an effort to find a silver lining in the tragedy, anchor Ainsley Earhardt suggested that the shooting victims were at the right place to be killed because they were close to Jesus when they were fatally shot.
“We’ve been reporting this shouldn’t happen in a church,” Earhardt said during an interview with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, “but I was downstairs talking with some people that work here that we all talk about our faith and we share the same beliefs. We were saying there’s no other place we would want to go other than church.”
Completely throwing out the notion that church is where people should feel the safest, Earhardt added, “Because I’m there asking for forgiveness, I feel very close to Christ when I’m there. So, I’m trying to look at some positives here and know that those people are with the Lord now and experiencing eternity and no more suffering, no more sadness anymore.”
First and foremost, there is no good place to be murdered. The fact that the host chose that as her one positive takeaway from the horrific event is absurd, to say the least. Furthermore, it’s a bit self-righteous to suggest that physically being in a church at the time of your death makes you more likely to go “with the lord.” Does she feel the same about people who were killed in a mosque?
Needless to say, Twitter had a few choice words for Earhardt’s tone-deaf reflections.
Ainsley Earhardt = not that bright— Dr. Dazzle (@porktit) November 6, 2017
“Best to be thought a fool and remain silent than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
Ainsley Earhardt of Fox and Friends said there's no place she'd rather be shot than in a church. This is where I differ. I'd prefer to be shot in a Level 1 Trauma Center.— Jim Coughlin (@mrjimcoughlin) November 6, 2017
So what @ainsleyearhardt said on the victims behalf was, “Thank you Jesus for blessing me with being murdered in a church.”?— Colleen O'Donnell (@odonnell_88) November 6, 2017
It's a shame Fox has to look for the good things about dying in a church, as opposed to, say, living.— Robert Makin (@Thurgood76) November 6, 2017
Upon facing backlash, Earhardt doubled down on her remarks in a statement to Business Insider.
"As any Christian would understand, I feel church is sacred. For me, it is the place I worship, where I learn about God and feel closest to Him each week," Earhardt said. "I meant no disrespect, as I have continuously said, the Texas families are in my thoughts and prayers. And, anyone who truly knows my heart, knows that about me."
She also defended her initial desire to search for light in the face of darkness in the first place.
"But, I do believe there can be positives in death," she said. "Christians believe death is when they enter into the afterlife — a place without pain, suffering and away from the evil that takes place on earth like we saw this past weekend. I know one day I will take my last breath and if I am in His 'house' when that happens, I pray my family can find a bit of solace and peace knowing that is where I saw Jesus for the first time. I pray for those families and the parents, children and loved ones who will be changed forever. I hope they cling to God during such a difficult time."
While Earhardt is certainly entitled to her faith and her beliefs, bestowing them upon a grieving country made up of various backgrounds and spiritual faiths on live television may not have been the best idea.